TODAY

TODAY   |  April 23, 2014

Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Field turns 100

The iconic and much beloved Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, celebrates its 100th birthday on Wednesday. It’s a vibrant and living monument to America’s pastime. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> celebrating a very special birthday in chicago this morning. iconic wrigley field turning 100 years old.

>> let's go to nbc's kevin tibbles. he's there to mark this milestone. kevin , good morning to you.

>> reporter: hey, matt. 100 years ago , this would have been the uniform of the home team , the chicago feds of the old federal league . they were called the feds because they didn't really have a name. then they became the chicago whales , eventually becoming the chicago cubs . a lot of history has gone down in this grand old ballpark. take me out to the ball game

>> reporter: they've been singing "take me out to the ball game " for 100 years at the friendly confines of wrigley field .

>> wrigley is just really a central point in baseball history .

>> there's only one wrigley field .

>> reporter: a vibrant, living monument to america's pastime. out front, a statue of mr. cub, ernie banks . he hit more than 500 home runs .

>> ernie banks got number 500 !

>> from up the tunnel, you see the green ivy. it's striking.

>> reporter: ah, yes coming up the tunnel to reveal the colors of summer. and keeping wrigley pristine is no easy task. my lawn doesn't look like this. what's your secret?

>> my lawn at home doesn't look like this also.

>> reporter: and it takes the whole crew looking over my shoulder to ensure the new guy doesn't wash away all their hard work.

>> you don't want any astroturf in here, do you?

>> absolutely not, never.

>> reporter: wrigley sits smack dab in the center of the north side neighborhood that shares its name, wrigleyville, where history says babe ruth pointed to where he was going to homer, and then did. and where a disgruntled tavern owner cursed the cubs for not letting him bring his billy goat into the stadium. something else happens here quite regularly, too. just ask cubs owner tom ricket ricketts.

>> you met your wife in the bleachers. nobody can equal that story.

>> yeah, a lot of people have met their significant others on first dates. wrigley has a lot to do with relationships in chicago .

>> reporter: for bleacher bums everywhere, wrigley is on their bucket list. this is a storied place not very many people get to see. the scoreboard was built in 1937 , keeping fans apprised of scores by turning creeky latches and changing the numbers by hand.

>> who needs technology?

>> that's right.

>> reporter: in fact, the only thing that wrigley hasn't seen in the last hundred years is a world series pennant. but this year, let's hope next year's team is this year's team. and let's hope indeed. you know, wrigley field has also played a great role, great cameo roles in a number of feature films , of course. the blues brothers use the address here, 1060 west addison. they gave that as a fake address to the police in "the blues brothers " movie. and of course, ferris bueller on his famous day off. where did he and the gang go? they came right here to wrigley fold to skip school and spend the afternoon in the sun. which is giving me a lot of ideas for this afternoon, guys.

>> hey, kevin , now that you've been inside the scoreboard, what is your feeling as to whether they should ever go to an electronic scoreboard there?

>> reporter: well, there's a lot of controversy about that. i think that they are going to have an electric pixel boarded hd type of modern jumbotron-ish kind of thing. but tom ricketts told me himself that scoreboard over my shoulder ain't going nowhere .

>> i'm glad to hear that.

>> i loved it when i saw a game last year, the scoreboard -- i mean, you can imagine how hot that is. that's got to be incredible for them flipping the numbers. but seeing the faces pop out every now and again, it was so great. i loved it.

>> best seat in the house, no question. kevin tibbles in chicago , thank you very much.